Ex-US President Jimmy Carter calls for an end to Gaza siege

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Mahesh Sharma
Date  06/08/2014
Former US President Jimmy Carter has called on the UN Security Council to vote for a resolution that would “mandate an end to the siege” on the Gaza Strip.

Carter made the comments in a sharply worded article he co-wrote with Ireland`s former President Mary Robinson in the new issue of the Foreign Policy magazine published Tuesday.

The UN Security Council “should vote for a resolution recognizing the inhumane conditions in Gaza and mandate an end to the siege. That resolution could also acknowledge the need for international monitors who can report on movements into and out of Gaza as well as cease-fire violations,” they wrote.

They also urged Western countries to recognize the Palestinian resistance group Hamas as a legitimate "political actor," while blasting Israel’s “war crimes” in the Gaza Strip.

“There is no humane or legal justification for the way” Israel’s military is conducting this war, Carter and Robinson said. “There is never an excuse for deliberate attacks on civilians in conflict. These are war crimes.”

Israel is “pulverizing with bombs, missiles and artillery large parts of Gaza, including thousands of homes, schools and hospitals, displacing families and killing Palestinian non-combatants. Much of Gaza has lost its access to water and electricity completely. This is a humanitarian catastrophe,” they wrote.

The article also accuses the Zionist regime of obstructing peace efforts in the region by not allowing the formation of a joint Palestinian government in Gaza. “Tragically, Israel rejected this opportunity for peace and has until now succeeded in preventing the new government’s deployment in Gaza.”

Carter and Robinson were referring to an agreement between the Fatah movement and Hamas signed in April to end seven years of rivalry and from a national unity government.

The two former heads of state also pushed the US and Europe to formally recognize Hamas and praised the recently announced unity agreement between Hamas and Fatah.

“The US and EU should recognize that Hamas is not just a military force but also a political one. It cannot be wished away, nor will it cooperate in its own demise,” Carter and Robinson noted. The West must “recognize its legitimacy as a political actor, one that represents a substantial portion of the Palestinian people.”

Carter, who served as the 39th US President from 1977 to 1981, has emerged in recent years as an outspoken critic of Israel for its oppression and brutality against the Palestinian people.

In his book Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid, published in November 2006, Carter states that Israel`s continued control and colonization of Palestinian lands have been the primary obstacles to a comprehensive peace agreement.

He declared that Israel`s current policies in the occupied Palestinian territories constitute "a system of apartheid, with two peoples occupying the same land, but completely separated from each other, with Israelis totally dominant and suppressing violence by depriving Palestinians of their basic human rights."

A month-long Israeli aerial and ground offensive that began July 8 in Gaza has left about 1,900 Palestinians dead, including 430 children, and left people across the impoverished enclave in desperate need of basic necessities of life.

A Press TV correspondent said in a report on Wednesday that the scope of devastation and misery across Gaza is massive. Many of the injured are left in need of treatment and residents have no homes to return to.

The Tel Aviv regime also attacked UN shelters, schools and hospitals in its large-scale military offensive and pounded the medical centers that are in desperate need of medicine and equipment.

A ceasefire went into effect on Tuesday while Israeli and Palestinian delegations in the Egyptian capital of Cairo prepare for talks in a bid to extend the 72-hour truce.

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